Conversation with Senator Cramer on PPP loan forgiveness legislation

July 31, 2020

Credit unions and Leagues met with Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Friday to discuss credit union involvement in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and his proposed bill to forgive most PPP loans. Senator Cramer is the lead sponsor of the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act (S. 4117), which will make PPP loan forgiveness easier for loans under $150,000 and provide lenders with liability protection. The conversation was held through a web meeting hosted by CUNA.

“Here in the Dakotas, credit unions really stepped up in the PPP process, as a third of our credit unions were involved in that and Senator Cramer is a longtime friend of the credit unions,” Jeff Olson, President/CEO of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, said in introducing the Senator on Friday’s meeting.

Senator Cramer spoke with the group about the importance of the Paycheck Protection Program, saying the program was intended “to make sure we could keep our small businesses going across this very deep [economic] valley.” The Senator also shared his appreciation for all that credit unions have done to connect local businesses with these loans.

According to CUNA economists and statistics from the Small Business Administration, the average credit union-issued PPP loan was only $49,000, with 94% of credit union-facilitated PPP loans falling below the $150,000 threshold.

CUNA has continued to call on legislators to add PPP forgiveness legislation to the next round of COVID-19 economic relief legislation, and has created an action alert for credit union advocates to do the same.